Woah, that is a freaking loaded question! Well I am going to unwrap this one for you and attempt to make this as EZ as possible.
Because I hate when things are difficult and hate when things are confusing. So wish me luck, this isn't a battle, this one is a war.
(I just started watching GOT from the beginning)
So, first off, what are some "Rules?"
I grabbed these from "The Rules: Time Test Secrets for Capturing The Heart of Mr. Right" by Ellen Fein
Don't Meet him halfway or go dutch on a date
Don't open up too fast
Don't call him and rarely return his calls
Don't expect a man to change or try to change him
So first disclaimer, this is just a small sampling of hundreds or maybe even thousands of rules in this book.
So hopefully you had some of the same reactions I had when reading this...
My biggest one was to:
"Don't call him and rarely return his calls"
I am cool with not calling him. I like to let a man chase. But, I am mortified by the advice of rarely returning his calls.
Let's unpack that from a man's perspective.
I call a woman I am interested in. I leave her a message requesting a call back. She doesn't call me back. My thought is simple, she is not interested.
Men want to chase, but they are NOTTTTTTTTTTTT going to chase women who cannot be caught!!!!!!!!
So what should you do? Don't be the first one reaching out, but respond to the poor guy (assuming you are interested in him or he is going to disappear thinking you are not interested).
Oh Boy, I just realized what I did!
I said, "That Rule is bad! But do this rule!"
Which I guess brings me to the answer to the original question: Do you need rules or simply to have fun with the guy?
Well, I think if you are a person with a the goal of - (Get a Life Partner)
Well you need a game plan. If you want to make rules, well rock and roll - HAVE THEM!
But, don't make them black and white for the ones that don't need to be.
For example: If it means the world to you, not to have sex until you are in a committed relationship. THEN HOLD STRONG TO THAT ONE.
But in regards to the rule: Don't Meet him halfway or go dutch on a date
If a guy suggests meeting for a drink 30 minutes away from him and it is also 30 minutes away for you and he seems like a good guy. Well freaking GO!!!!!!!!!
What are you crazy? Who turns down a 1st date with a promising person because you are both driving the same distance?
Now, IF HE LIKES YOU AFTER THE 1ST DATE. DON'T BE SURPRISED WHEN THE 2ND DATE IS CLOSER TO YOUR HOUSE.
But, you never would have gotten there if you didn't show up for the first date.
Men, fall in love using their eyes. Assuming this is an online date and the guy is desirable, he is not going to be excited about traveling 75-95% of the distance to your house for a first meet and greet. (He doesn't know if he is into yet so he doesn't want to invest in you yet.)
BUT, if he is attracted to you and you have good conversation on a first date...Watch out 2nd date he will put some effort in and starting INVESTING IN YOU.
But don't expect investment until he gets to meet you.
Now, what is the EZ outcome of this whole thing.
If a rule makes sense FOR YOU. Use it. If it doesn't make sense for you, THROW IT OUT!
But most importantly access what kind of person you want to be. If you want to be known as reliable, consistent, attainable, then return phone calls.
If you want to be seen as this busy, fantastic, maybe unattainable prize, that is going to require a lot of work then do that.
I am not saying either way is wrong, but the latter will end up in less dates and MAY end up with folks that are more persistent. (Or have less shame, which in my personal opinion is a sexy quality)
Bottom line: You are smart, use what works for you and throw out what doesn't. But, always have fun. A man having fun will deal with some of your boundaries/rules but if he isn't having fun he will be gone very quickly.
It is natural for you to feel a bit of uncertainty when it comes to your relationship. Maybe you've been hurt before or maybe it just doesn't feel like a fairytale romance that is portrayed in the movies. Whatever the reason, before long, these doubts leave you asking yourself, "How do I know that he's the right guy for me?"
You start to worry that if you are having doubts, that must mean that he isn't the one. If he is your soul mate, shouldn't you just know? Shouldn't everything be perfect?
In response to these thoughts and fears, we can have a number of different reactions. These reactions are completely normal and very common but they will often cause more issues in the relationship. Women might rush into a commitment to help rid themselves of all of the uncertainty. Rushing into a commitment before you're ready can lead to disaster. It might feel instinctual to hold tightly onto something so you won't lose it but this can often have the opposite effect.
Men, on the other hand, tend to pull away in response to these feelings. When women see men pulling away for them, they often times will panic or blame themselves. This can lead to them beating themselves up and obsessing over all of the details. Often worried that they did something wrong, they will reach out to the man to try to figure out what happened. These insecurities can be read as neediness by the man, and BANG! ...They pull away even more.
We all have insecurities in many areas of our lives and relationships are no exception! It is important to try to worry less and trust more. DON'T PANIC! Trust your heart.
Another important thing to remember is that life isn't a movie. You aren't going to run into his arms in slow motion. There isn't going to be a montage of perfect little moments. He isn't going to speak to you in poetry that makes your heart soar. The only thing that is guaranteed in love is that it isn't going to be perfect. But that's what love is... Sometimes, it's saying and doing the wrong thing and sometimes it's messy. Love is perfectly imperfect and the right one for you will be there with you through it all.
Maybe you'll have an aha moment or maybe it will be a collection of moments that show you what you need to know. When you look to the future, you can't picture it without him. That's how you know your guys is the right guy for you.
Want to learn more about this topic? Watch this video for great insights from John Gray, author of "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus":
Wondering if you would be a good fit for coaching with me? Book A complimentary 15 minute strategy session with me HERE and find out. Let's get you a high quality man that will be yours forever.